State DEP fines gas company with wells in southwestern Pa.
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The state Department of Environmental Protection has fined Atlas Resources LLC $85,000 for violations of the Oil and Gas Act, the Clean Streams Law, and the Solid Waste Management Act at 13 well sites in Fayette, Washington and Greene counties.
DEP said the violations, which occurred between Dec. 8, 2008, and July 31, 2009, involved Atlas' failure to control erosion and runoff at six well sites; restore ground cover within nine months of finishing drilling; and discharge of residual and industrial waste, including diesel fuel and production fluids, onto the ground at seven wells.
"Development of Pennsylvania's natural gas resource is important to the state's economy. However, that development need not -- and will not -- come at the expense of our environment," said Southwest Regional Director George Jugovic Jr. "DEP will ensure that Pennsylvania's gas resources are developed in an environmentally sound manner, consistent with the law."
Six of the wells are located in Monongahela and Cumberland, Greene County; six are in Washington, Jefferson, Nicholson, Redstone and German, Fayette County; and one is in Deemston, Washington County.
Atlas Energy said it voluntarily agreed to pay the fines and that each violation has been corrected.
First Published January 8, 2010 12:00 am